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Climate change an ‘ethical and moral’ issue, Vatican official underlines

Cardinal Parolin poses for a picture with other faith leaders in Abu Dhabi

Despite being primarily a secular issue for politicians and scientists to address, a Vatican official emphasized that it also has "an ethical and moral dimension."

According to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, religious leaders around the world have a unique role in addressing such an alarming global issue.

“In this issue, the religious leader has a voice to say something and to add motivation to the present commitment of the world to tackle this issue,” he said.

The cardinal made the statement after joining some 30 faith leaders from around the world in signing an Interfaith Statement to pledge their commitment to fight climate change on Monday in Abu Dhabi.

This also serves as their collective call on political leaders to take concrete action during the upcoming COP28 Climate Change Conference in December in Dubai.

Cardinal Parolin said that Pope Francis is very interested in the issue of climate change, which is evident by his two documents on the environment, Laudato Si’ and Laudate Deum.

“Of course, the Holy See is interested in all aspects of the problem. The Holy See is speaking about the reduction of gas emissions, the problem of rising sea levels, and so on,” he said.

The cardinal said the Vatican is focused on addressing the climate problem through a complete lifestyle change and better public education.

“It's not enough to throw more money [at the problem],” he said. “They need to [dedicate more resources] for mitigation and adaptation, of course. I am not saying that it's not important to put money into this issue, but it's not enough. We have to change our way of living so as not to harm Creation, not to harm nature, but to be stewards, as the Pope has said.”

“This is another very important point: to educate the new generation, just to have and use, in a different way, the resources of this world. And this is a universal, worldwide commitment of the Holy See,” the cardinal also said.

Even though the Holy See is a small state compared to other countries, Cardinal Parolin said that it can make a great contribution to education.

Pope Francis is expected to attend the COP28 climate change conference next month.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.